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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45360
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Last week I became a partner is a business. First I was

Resolved Question:

Hi,
Last week I became a partner is a business. First I was asked for two referees, one of which couldn't respond due to their computer server not working. I then asked another referee and my business parter had them back in three days.
So I started and first all recommended the website host be changed. We did this, but the new hosts took a while to do it. They needed three days to migrate the server, then tehre were teething problems with emails. nothing unreasonable in my view.
I had been doing some stuff this week, making social media posts and web pages, but intended to start properly once the website transfer had been complete.
Then I decided it wasn't for me. I mentioned I had a disability and didn't think it would be good for me. He was expecting me to work on several projects at once, including the redevelopment of a website. I said if I did this, there could be mistakes. And it was probebly best that I let him find someone else.
We ended the partnership amicably, but now he has told me he is contacting his solicitor because didn't inform him of my disability. He is also suing me for the disruption to his business.
In return for my work I was given 205 of the business with no financial investment. After signing the agreement I found out the business was making very little money and I would in effect be working for nothing.
Can you advise on this? I feel that I should be perfectly entitled to walk out on an opportunity that isn't right for me, just as he is entitled to sack me.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
When you ended the agreement, did you confirm anything in writing? Also, what were the terms of your business agreement?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The terms were that I would work as a partner in return for 20% equity. Yes, I sent over a pdf document yesterday which I electronically signed. I can attach the files if you like
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not send the files as yet or respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks Ben. do I have to stay logged in or will I get a response by email?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
You will not need to stay logged on. I will respond by email. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Many thanks for your patience. First of all you have no obligation to inform them of your disability. In fact it is unlawful for an employee to ask about your health before they have given you an unconditional offer. If they do not ask you then you do not have to tell them – you may do so of course but that is up to you. The issue there is that if you try and argue that they had not done something correctly to assist with your disability or something happened which inadvertently placed you in a detrimental condition because of it, you may not be able to pursue the employer as they did not know about it. However, that is not relevant because that is not the issue here. In terms of the alleged disruption of the business, that will be a rather opportunistic claim to make. You are correct that you are not tied in to the business and if it does not work out then you are free to leave. You would be required to give any notice period required of you contractually but apart from that you should be able to leave whenever you want. A ‘disruption’ would only be relevant if you had maliciously disrupted the business, or knowingly joined with the intention to cause the business losses or take away business or clients from them and I do not see that being the case in the circumstances. If they are really seeking advice from their solicitors, I would be surprised if they advise that a claim should be made. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of what may happen next and how to deal with it, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45360
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. Legally there is nothing topping them from trying to make a claim against you, although it of course does not mean they will be successful. If they keep the claim value below £10k then this would go in the small claims court – I do not expect the value of such a claim to be higher than that. If a claim is made then you can ask the court to strike the claim out for having no reasonable prospects of success. They may allow it to continue still and you would not need legal representation to defend it – the small claims court is designed for the smaller unrepresented parties. Even if you were to lose and have to pay them some compensation, you would not be responsible for their legal costs as each side pays their own. At least then you would know that a court of law decided that they had a valid claim, even if you do not fully agree with it. In any event I would hope that this does not end up in court and that these are just threats by someone who is obviously just disappointed about how things tuned out and with time they will realise it is probably not worth pursuing.

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